Levy Restaurants

55th Annual GRAMMY Awards

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Music royalty will be out in full force this weekend, as The Staples Center prepares to host the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. California cuisine with signature Levy flair highlights the menu for this star studded event, with our Millionaire Margarita taking center stage at the bar.  Create another stellar variation of this festive cocktail by mixing all ingredients in a blender with ice and serving it frozen.

Millionaire Margarita
2 ounces Don Julio Tequila
½ ounce Grand Marnier
2 ounces sweet and sour
2 ounces lime juice, fresh squeezed
½ ounce agave nectar
¼ cup margarita salt
2 limes, cut in wedges
8 stemmed margarita glasses for serving

In a shaker, combine the tequila, Grand Marnier, sweet and sour, lime juice, agave nectar.  Shake with ice.

Wet the rim of your glass with lime juice and dip into margarita salt.  Pour the mixture from your shaker into the margarita glasses of your choice. Add lime wedges and enjoy!



Mambo Sauce

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“Stadium eating: can the food inside Verizon Center compete with the food around it?”

Chef Kevin Holler

Washington City Paper’s food blog Young and Hungry sure thinks so!  Executive Chef Kevin Holler is bringing his A-game to Wizards fans, making the arena more like a restaurant than your average sports venue.   Using a huge variety of ingredients from local farms and bakeries, incorporating regional dishes like crab cakes and Washington D.C.’s signature Mambo Sauce, and even creating a daily menu and chef’s table at the popular Acela Club restaurant, Chef Holler will make your taste buds want to… well… “holler”.

Mambo Sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar, distilled
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
Hot sauce, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer (do not boil).  Let sauce simmer for 20 minutes and taste for seasoning and preferred heatness.  Sauce works well on chicken wings, french fries, sandwiches and fried rice.  May be frozen for later use.

All Natural Chicken Salad

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How are those New Year’s resolutions treating you?  Personally, we’re fighting the urge to have a lunch meeting with a cheeseburger.  Thankfully, American Airlines Center’s Chef Johnny Blackerby is saving the day with a Maverick’s fan favorite that will make the perfect healthy lunch option – All Natural Chicken Salad.  Chefs tip - this salad is amazing on it's own, but also fantastic in a lettuce wrap or on a whole wheat bun!

BIG flavor, small calorie count.  Apparently everything isn’t bigger in Dallas!

Chicken Salad

All Natural Chicken Salad
1.5 pounds chicken breast, grilled and julienned
2 cups celery, diced
1.5 cup red grapes, cut in half
1 cup almond slivers, toasted
2 heads bibb lettuce, washed and dried
2 cups poppy seed dressing
½ cup scallion, sliced for garnish

Preheat grill to high or 375°. Season chicken breast with salt and black pepper. Place chicken on grill and let sear on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn heat to low and cook chicken breast completely thru or to 165°. Remove from grill. Once cool, slice breast in half and then julienne.

In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, celery, grapes, almonds and dressing.  Lightly toss ingredients until mixed well. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to let flavors come together.

Meanwhile, prepare a large serving bowl by lining one side with Bibb lettuce leafs.  Add chilled chicken salad to your serving bowl and garnish with your scallion.  Serves 8-10.

Poppy Seed Dressing
2 cups cider vinegar
4 tablespoons white vinegar
8 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 cups sugar or agave nectar
2 medium yellow onion, grated with juice reserved
1 cups onions juice
 3 cups canola oil
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Combine all ingredients except oil and shredded onion into a blender. Turn blender on medium and slowly add all your oil to mix. Stir in grated onion and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes until flavors come together.

 

Charred Carrots - Bar Toma

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Happy New Year!  As we look back on 2012 fondly, we find that a lot of our favorite memories involve Bar Toma pizza.  A LOT.  Apparently Esquire’s do too - they just named Bar Toma the Best New Pizzeria in the country!!

But pizza isn’t the only awesome thing on the menu at Bar Toma.  In fact, to help kick off some resolutions in 2013,  we sharing the recipe for Bar Toma’s impossibly delicious – and healthy – charred carrots!

Charred Carrots

Bar Toma’s Charred Carrots
6 large carrots
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 ounce almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons Essenza Balsamic vinegar

Cut each carrot in half crosswise. Then carefully cut each of those halves into 3 planks each.
Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, coat the carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Place the carrots in the heated pan and cook until well-charred and cooked through. The carrots will be al dente.

Place the charred carrots in a large bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. Mix well to coat the carrots. Divide the carrots equally among 4 plates and garnish each with the goat cheese and almonds. Sprinkle each plate with Essenza balsamic. Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

The Nutcracker

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With the busy holiday season in full swing, it's time to enjoy family, friends, food and (most importantly...) cocktails!  In anticipation of hosting more than 18,000 cheering Lakers fans on Christmas Day, Executive Chef Joseph Martin of Staples Center is giving us his ultimate adult holiday treat: the Nutcracker Martini.

Cheers!

Nutcracker Cocktail

The Nutcracker
1 ¼ ounce frangelico
1 ounce eggnog
Ice
1 dash of ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick

Shake Frangelico, eggnog and ice. Strain and serve in a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with ground nutmeg and cinnamon stick.  Enjoy!

Smoked Turkey Legs with Sausage and Hazelnut Stuffing

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

It’s one of our favorite holidays, and we love Thanksgiving dinner traditions.  Family… turkey… stuffing… football… 

So who better than Chef Joe Nader to dish out a recipe for an amazing holiday dish? As executive chef of Ford Field, Chef Joe is an expert on hosting Thanksgiving. Every year, Chef Joe and his team serve up over 65,000 guests as the Detroit Lions host the annual Thanksgiving classic.  I wonder what size turkey he should get…. Ha!

See Chef Joe demonstrate his recipe here, or check out the recipe below.  Gobble Gobble!

Smoked Turkey Legs with Sausage and Hazelnut Stuffing

 

Stuffing
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
1 pound fresh pork sausage
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 pound chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons sage
8 cups stale bread, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
3 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
2 ounces Amaretto
1 cup turkey stock

Put hazelnuts in food processor and chop to medium coarseness.  In a large skillet, brown pork sausage and drain. Sauté onions, celery, and sage until translucent. Add vegetables in large bowl, adding the pork and bread, mixing well. Add eggs and Amaretto. Finally, add turkey stock to moisten. Put in baking pan and bake 1 hour at 350 °F.

Turkey Leg Brine
6 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup sea salt
1 teaspoon dry rosemary
1 teaspoon dry sage
1 teaspoon dry thyme
6 cups ice cold water

 

Combine broth, herbs and salt in pot and bring to a boil, let cool to room temperature. Combine in large container with ice water. Brine the turkey legs overnight. Take turkey legs out of brine, pat dry and smoke in smoker for 3 hours.

These are for You Mr. President, Spiaggia Scallops

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Congratulations to President Obama! 

No matter your political party, we can all agree that the President’s favorite meal – Spiaggia’s Scallops – are a bipartisan win.   Celebrate the end of election season and treat yourself to these succulent scallops at your house, even if it’s not 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The fresh flavor of the ingredients makes this easy-to-prepare dish one of Spiaggia’s winning first courses. Purchase sea scallops out of the shell labeled “diver caught” or “dry pack.” This refers to scallops that are caught by hand and not packed in water. If your fishmonger sells only scallops in water, drain the scallops and pat dry with paper towels to remove the excess moisture prior to cooking, ensuring a firmer scallop and better browning.

Spiaggia Scallops

Spiaggia Dressing
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
2 tablespoons truffle oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook to a nutty brown color, until the foam subsides, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the vinegars and salt to taste. Drizzle in the cooled brown butter and then the oils, whisking until the dressing is well blended. Season to taste. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Return to room temperature before using.

Salad
2 ounces dried sliced porcini mushrooms
4 ounces fresh mushrooms (such as shiitakes, chanterelles, or portobellos),  brushed clean
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 medium diver-caught sea scallops
4 cups mâche lettuce, cleaned and dried (substitute with watercress or baby salad greens)
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup Spiaggia Dressing (above)
12 pieces shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese

Place the dried porcini in a bowl with very hot water to cover. Soak for about 20 minutes, then drain and rinse. Thinly slice the fresh mushrooms. In a skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add all the mushrooms and saute until lightly browned and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cover to keep warm.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the scallops and cook, turning once, until golden brown on the outside and opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

In a bowl, toss the mâche with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the warm mushrooms evenly among 4 plates and place 3 scallops on top of the mushrooms. Arrange the mâche around the scallops. Drizzle each serving with the dressing and garnish with 3 cheese shavings. Top each with extra mâche leaves and serve immediately.

Notes: Porcini mushrooms, also known as cèpes, have a meaty texture and wonderful, earthy flavor. At Spiaggia, we use imported fresh porcini mushrooms for this dish. Fresh porcini are often very difficult to find in American markets, however, so we call for dried here, as they are readily available and also have excellent flavor. If you do find fresh porcini, by all means use them instead.
Mâche, also know as lambs lettuce, is characterized by its bright green rounded leaves. It has a delicate, nutty flavor. If your market does not offer mâche, you can substitute watercress or mixed baby salad greens.

 

Scary Spicy Bones from Jake Melnick's

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Once a year, it is 100% socially acceptable to get creative and serve food aimed at scaring the pants off of people.  Who better to help than the twisted team over at Chicago’s Jake Melnick’s corner tap?

Locals and tourists alike go batty over the crazy concoctions coming out of Jake’s kitchens, with everything from monster burgers to witchin’ wings.  Not-so-evil genius Chef Ryan Kikkert and his crew have the distinction of creating Best Hotwings at Chicago Wingfest 2010, 2011 and 2012!

Go all out this year and celebrate Halloween with a scary-spicy ribs recipe from our favorite heat-seeking-hellraisers. 

Scary Spicy Bones

Dry Rub
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients thoroughly.

BBQ Glaze
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 habanero pepper(seeded and finely chopped)
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
In a small sauce pan combine all and ingredients and simmer over low heat for 30 mins.

Ribs
3-3 ½ lbs pork back spare ribs
Dry rub (recipe above)
BBQ Glaze (recipe above)

Cut the ribs into single bone pieces and place in roasting pan. Cover the ribs with warm water until just submerged. Cover the pan with foil and place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and let rest covered another 20 mins while covered. Remove the ribs from the liquid and pat dry. Once dry, massage the ribs with the BBQ rub until well seasoned.

Place the ribs on covered grill rack, or away from direct heat. Cook with medium heat 45 minutes or until tender. Baste the ribs with the glaze during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

To serve arrange ribs on platter to look like a rib cage, and then splatter the plate with the reaming glaze.

Steak Tagliata with Seasonal Mushrooms

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Spiaggia's Chef Tony Mantuano: master chef and... model? 

Tony Mantuano

Haberdash, a Chicago mens store with a cool classic style, launched their annual fall style guide featuring 10 of Chicago's most dapper chefs and a recipe they love.  Not that we're biased of course, but check out our favorite recipe for steak tagliata with seasonal mushrooms below.  Mangia!

 Steak Tagliata

Steak Tagliatia with Seasonal Mushrooms
Serves 4 as appetizer, 2 as main course

1/2 pound seasonal mushrooms
1/2 cup beef stock
1 12 ounce strip steak, trimmed of fat and sinew
Sea salt, to taste
Blak pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 2-inch shaving of parmagiano-reggiano cheese

Prepare the mushrooms.  Have ready a large bowl of ice water.  Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Brush to clean any obvious dirt from the mushrooms, then blanch them in the boiling water.  Strain the mushrooms and immediately plunge them into an ice bath.  When cool enough to handle, pat dry with paper towels to continue drying.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce over medium high heat, bring the beef stock to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes or until reduced by half.  Keep warm.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.  While waiting for the grill to heat, cook the mushrooms.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  After a minute, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  After another minute, add the mushrooms and saute until heated through, or 1-2 minutes.  Add the reduced stock and cook another minute.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm until ready to use.

Generously season beef with salt and pepper.  Arrange on the grill and sear, turning once, until and instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 120 degrees, or medium rare, 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove from the grill.  Transfer to cutting board and let the meat rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain, on an angle into 10-12 slices. 

To serve, arrange the mushrooms with the sauce down the middle of a small warm serving platter.  Place the sliced meat overlapping on top of the mushrooms.  Drizzle the meat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Place the parmagiano-reggiano cheese shaving on top of the meat.  Serve immediately.

Purdue's S'Mores Smasher

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It's homecoming weekend at Purdue University!! 

As the campus welcomes back alumni, the Boilermakers take on Wisconsin aiming for sweet victory.  To show our support, Chef Josh Timmons is sharing the recipe for the sweetest of game-day treats, the S'Mores Smasher.  Tackle the recipe at home, or if you're representing the black and gold at Ross-Ade Stadium,  pick up the original at Shively Club. 

Boiler Up!

 S'Mores Smasher

S'Mores Smasher
Serves 2

2 large marshmallows
2 frozen waffles, thawed
4 tablespoons Nutella spread
4 tablespoons Vanilla pudding
1/4 graham cracker, crushed
1/2 large banana

Cut marshmallows in half and place on one waffle.  Spread Nutella generously on other waffle.  Smash waffles together and grill on flat surface for 2 minutes (one on each side).  Slice banance and place with pudding, using as garnish. Sprinkle crushed graham cracker on top.  Enjoy!

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